Portland State University. Department of English
Publishers and publishing, Book industries and trade
In 2019, diversity is the biggest buzzword in publishing. Spurred by initiatives such as We Need Diverse Books, publishing houses are working to publish more non-white authors and feature more stories about people of color. Behind the scenes, though, the publishing workforce is strikingly homogenous, with 86 percent of employees identifying as white or Caucasian, according to the 2018 Publishers Weekly salary survey. Increased scrutiny has started to lead to incremental gains, and groups like People of Color in Publishing and the Representation Matters Mentorship Program, both founded in 2016, are actively working to increase the number of people of color in the industry. Although these initiatives are certainly needed, they do not necessarily address the underlying causes of publishing’s diversity problems.
Schultz, Madison, "Pay to Play: Internships, Post-Graduate Education, and the Cost of Working in Publishing" (2019). Book Publishing Final Research Paper. 39.